I hope my recollection encourages others like me to also share their experiences. Whilst corporal punishment in schools was widespread during my school days, I don’t believe my life-time interest, nor the event that triggered this, was. This fascination has been a dark secret which only recently I was able to explore more fully.

I was privately educated in the South East of England during the mid 1970s and early 1980s, in a mixed junior school and then an all-girls senior school. It was at my local independent junior school that I first sensed a thrill witnessing others being punished, and particularly the last two years during which we had quite strict teachers. The school did pride itself in getting all of its pupils in to their desired public schools, so didn’t tolerate laziness or poor behaviour.

None of the punishments seemed unusual to us at the time, and indeed, were very similar to what we had heard about in other schools that friends or family attended.

In my final year at junior school, we had Miss D as our principal teacher. She was probably in her late twenties, single, but got engaged just before we left, was quite intense, with piercing eyes, rarely smiled, always caked in make-up with brightly painted nails and tottered around in high shoes to compensate for her lack of height.

Girls weren’t really punished. However I was a bit boisterous at times, and did get my legs slapped once by Miss D and had my hand struck with a ruler on another occasion. Neither was severe, nor for particularly serious misdemeanours, more to bring me to heel or make me focus, but we knew the rules and if you wanted to avoid punishment, you just had to behave.

It probably wasn’t fair, but boys received almost all punishments meted out by Miss D, and whilst not that often, probably a couple of times a month, I would actually get quite excited when she would call them out, reach in to her desk drawer and pull out the slipper, in reality an old plimsoll. She would push the boy across a front desk, holding him down by his collar, and proceed to wallop his backside with two to four full swing, hard swats that would make a huge whacking sound.

On the odd occasion, a boy would be told to take his chair and stand outside the class room. Miss D would follow about 10 minutes later with the slipper and he would be whacked bending over his chair. These were small, light chairs designed for our age group, so easy to bend over the back. I would get a wonderful feeling as I saw the menacing slipper in her dainty hand and on its way to be applied to my classmate’s bottom. We would then hear her slightly high pitched voice, followed by six loud whacks in quick succession. The boys would reappear and then return to their desks, faces red and contorted in pain, carrying their chair and desperately holding back the tears. Not all succeeded, particularly one I recall blubbering after being on the end of a ‘sixer’.

However, it was the next event that fixed an image in my mind that has remained for over 40 years. We were aware the Headmistress, a Mrs S, had a cane, but this was rarely used and possibly only one or two pupils in the whole school were ever caned each year. I suspect this was partly due to the fact that Mrs S, throughout the period I was a pupil, was not particularly strict. She was an artistic individual, tall and quite striking, probably in her early forties, who had an enthusiastic and encouraging approach to education rather than an authoritative one.

One day we had just returned to our class after the lunch break and there was a massive commotion in the hall outside that went on for some time. I could hear Miss D’s voice almost shouting and then she burst in to the class room holding two girls from our class by their arms. She said firmly to J & T: “Sit down and not a word from either of you.”

J, who was somewhat the confident class beauty, was crying, but T, who was the class know-all, just looked white and terrified. Miss D tried to start the lesson but seemed even more agitated and short-tempered than normal. Not a word was heard from J & T who were normally quite vocal in lessons. It transpired these two had somehow forced T’s younger brother to swallow a marble or marbles (I can’t remember if one or more) in the playground after lunch. The earlier commotion was about the young boy being taken to the local hospital. He was ultimately OK.

About half an hour later, there was a knock on the door and before Miss D could say anything, the Headmistress, Mrs S, burst in. She had a cane in her hand which shocked all of us, as we had heard about it but few had ever seen it. It was longer than I expected, and almost a bright mustard colour, with a crooked handle. It appeared quite pliable, but looked absolutely fearsome in her hand. She looked at both J & T and asked them to step outside.

I felt my whole body tingling as this was a completely new scenario. Whilst boys were beaten, as a girl I didn’t really empathise with their suffering as they were different and this was not something that would ever happen to me as a girl.  Now it looked like two girls were not only going to be formally punished, but maybe even caned. I couldn’t sit still thinking about this.

Mrs S asked one of the boys if he could bring a chair outside. He looked crestfallen, mistakenly assuming he was also in trouble. I also assumed then that the cane was for him. He reappeared a minute later with a huge smile of relief on his face.  We could hear Mrs S clearly giving both girls a severe lecture, then silence. I thought maybe they would just be given a scare and a warning. Then there was a sound of a swish, then a huge crack from the hall, followed by a sharp squeal. There was a pause, at which point my heart was absolutely racing. Then there were three further cracks in quite quick succession, each followed by a muffled shout of pain. You could hear a pin drop in our class. Miss D had fallen silent and everyone was looking at the door, in the direction of where the noise was coming.

There was a very long pause and then Mrs S poked her head in the door and asked in Miss D could join her outside. Miss D looked at the class and said something along the lines of: “If I recognise any voices when I am outside, that person will be joining J & T.”

Shortly thereafter we heard four cracks of the cane in quick succession followed by some muffled moans and sniffing. I couldn’t help but imagine what if that was me. This had never occurred to me before, as girls just didn’t get caned. Miss D returned, but J & T didn’t. She then explained what had happened in the playground, that both J & T had been punished, they were now composing themselves and that was the end of the matter.

Just before the afternoon break, J & T re-appeared, both with red eyes. They gingerly sat down and placed their heads in their arms on their desks. When the break bell went, J & T initially didn’t move, but I and another friend went to them and said we wanted to help them to the playground. They asked if we knew what had happened and we told them Miss D had told us everything.

They said their bottoms were still very sore and stinging and they wanted to go to put some cold & wet tissue on them from the girls’ toilets. We followed them in to help, grabbed loads of toilet paper and wet it under the cold taps. J & T pulled their skirts up, pants down and dabbed their marked bottoms. I was actually very shocked. Each had four very red lines right across both cheeks of their bottoms.

I asked if they had been caned on their bare bottoms or over their skirts. T said she had to go first and was told to bend over the back of the chair and hold the front legs. Mrs S lifted her skirt, and then pulled her knickers tight up in to the cleft of her bum so that her buttocks were fully exposed. So, whilst she didn’t have her knickers pulled down, the effect of the cane on her bottom was the same. She said she jumped up after the first stroke it was so painful, but Mrs S pointed to the chair with the cane, so she bent back over for the next three but was crying after the second.

J, the smaller, prettier and over confident of the two, said she had watched T getting caned, the marks appearing on her bottom, heard T’s squealing and her tears, hence was terrified. When it came to her turn, she said she bent over, but once her skirt was lifted and her knickers pulled tightly up, she stood up before Mrs S could cane her. She was told to get back down and did so, but then again stood up with her hands covering her bottom. Mrs S gave her one last chance, but J again stood up at the last minute.

This was when Miss D was asked to come out. Mrs S asked J to bend over again and this time Miss D held her down from the front of the chair. Mrs S then pulled down J’s panties and told her she was getting punished on the bare bottom for not cooperating, and then very quickly whipped her four times with the cane as she struggled, but before she could get up.

T complained that her caning was worse because she stayed still and the more inflamed marks on T’s bottom somewhat proved that. Both girls were terrified about telling their parents, particularly T whose younger brother was now at home. We later discovered both parents had been informed by the school, and quite possibly agreed to the punishment before it was dished out.

Later at night, the image of being bent over and caned thrilled me and created a strange excitement deep in me that I pictured in my mind many times after. My all-girls senior school officially still employed corporal punishment, a leather strap, although it was hardly ever used, and almost done so in top secret. I never received any form of corporal punishment at school.

I did see the after effects of a caning on one of my friend’s brothers, which only further fed my interest in the subject. I also had a boyfriend at University who told me about the times he was caned at school. He knew it excited me, and indeed one time recounted a caning whilst he made love to me. The result was mind-blowing, although I felt embarrassed and disgusted with myself and soon finished our relationship.

Thereafter, I kept the secret to myself and only recently, with the ability to set aside sufficient private time for myself, have I been able to very tentatively explore this side of my interest a little more. I am convinced that one event has led to this long term interest, and would be very interested to hear of events that have triggered the same fascination in others.